WP24: Views, Cocktails and Pork Belly

Jack Rose

The night before the LA Times review for WP24 came out, I was enjoying cocktails and dinner there. I had heard the buzz and since it was a few blocks from me, I made late-night reservations but waltzed in early. The staff at WP24 were more than happy to seat us immediately. We were able to enjoy the last few minutes of twilight with our cocktails.

Now, I’m not a big Wolfgang Puck fan although I’ve been to Spago and Chinois on Main as well his lesser-known branded eateries but I’m always game to try a new place. I love debunking hype.

Umami martini

We didn’t think we could possibly do the $95 tasting though it was tempting. Later we would discover we spent almost $200 anyway so it may have been worth getting the extra dishes. Then again, the tasting didn’t include the two cocktails and two glasses of wine we also had.

All these years and I never thought about the pickled cucumbers at some Mandarin places to be an amuse but at WP24, they were labeled as such on our bill. The toast was all right but they give you way too much sauce for two small pieces.

crab hot and sour soup

AK and I were weirded out by this soup. We kept eating it thinking somehow it’d magically become good. Well, it wasn’t bad, per se. It was just strange. I felt there was cheese in it. It was thick like a veloute but the flavors flung themselves onto your tongue and refused to leave. Sour. Like lots of vinegar. Hot. Like way more white pepper than necessary. All combined to overpower the delicate crab.

soft shell crab

pork belly

I liked the Chili Singapore soft shell crab. I especially liked the bits of crab I found on the plate. Tender and succulent crab. But what are these twinkies doing on my plate? The food runner said they were traditional. I don’t know about that!

As for the much anticipated pork belly, we were initially fooled by the appearance. We didn’t see that the dish were only a few thin slices. I wasn’t getting juicy fatty pork at all. Rather, I got too much sauce and that sauce was way too sweet.

We also ordered a side of noodles and they were simply bad. Not only was the portion small but the sauce was also sickly sweet. The noodles themselves were either kneaded too long as they tasted flat or they had gone bad. A shame.

So our meal didn’t end very well. We opted to not get dessert. None of the heavy desserts sounded appealing after two sweet saucy foods. WP24 did send out a mignardise. The tiny chocolate chip cookies hiding under the deep-fried pastry shell were good.

I might return for cocktails in the giant wrap-around lounge but I will skip future meals there. For $200, I can get much better food. Even the price of their appetizer sampler ($24 for 5 dumplings) was a turn-off. I will never know how the favorite dishes of SIV of the LA Times will taste because I just didn’t think it was worth it. As I said, I love to debunk hype and WP24 is all hype.

WP24 at the Ritz-Carlton

900 W. Olympic

Los Angeles, CA 90015

(213) 743-8824